Ninth Circuit grants request for 35-day extension to file opening briefs in challenge to Hawaii’s same-sex marriage ban
September 27, 2013granted an extension of time to the plaintiffs challenging Hawaii’s anti-gay marriage ban yesterday, allowing opening briefs to be filed on November 22. The extension in Jackson v. Abercrombie was sought after Hawaii’s Governor Neil Abercrombie announced earlier this month that he will convene a special session of the state legislature to take up a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. The special session will begin on October 28.
The filing points out that “the Hawai’i Legislature’s enactment of marriage equity for same-sex couples would likely moot the current appeal.” They note that a delay would “preserve the resources” of the parties and the court, given that the issue could be resolved outside the federal court system. Governor Abercrombie took no position on the request. The Hawaii Family Forum, defendant-intervenors in the lower court and on appeal, also took no position. Hawaii’s Health Director Loretta Fuddy consented to the request.
Earlier this year, the Hawaii case was put on a parallel track with Lambda Legal’s challenge to the constitutionality of Nevada’s same-sex marriage ban. As of now, the docket in the Nevada case remains the same as it was previously: opening briefs are due October 18; but given the granted request for the two cases to be on a parallel track, there could be a motion forthcoming asking the Ninth Circuit to extend the time in the Nevada case as well, so that the briefing and argument coincides.
The answer brief in Jackson is now due December 23, and any reply briefs are due within 14 days after the answer brief is filed.
Thanks to Kathleen Perrin for these filings
Motion requesting extension of time:
Order granting motion: